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Lightweight Clothing Packing List for Men (or whomever)

Below is a list of my attempt at packing light for a Europe trip that mixes cycle touring and regular touristing. I’ve gone with similar set ups in the past, but this time decided to drill down to clothing items that will span a range of situations.

SHIRTS (4 listed, 3 will be packed)

Club Ride Detour Button Up Shirt 175g/6.2oz
Light and breezy with a discrete passport size zipper pocket on lower flank of shirt. This time a muted plaid – fits in well in northern Europe. I can ride in it and also go out to dinner.

Threads 4 Thought Triblend Short Sleeve V-Neck Tee 129g/4.5oz
Cheap on Amazon, light, cool and comfortable. I chose V neck for my non-tech T-shirt because it can come across as a bit more style conscious than a crew neck. With long pants looks smart in a restaurant. All synth tri-blend is airy, soft and light, yet drapes like a cotton blend.
Next Level 60 Cotton/40 Poly V-neck T-shirt 146g/5.1oz
Looks and feels like 100% cotton, with a denser weave than the shirt above, but still dries pretty well. I’m torn on which to choose. The shirt above is navy and a little cooler, this one is a nice tone of black and a little sharper looking. Above packs a little smaller.

Patagonia Capilene Cool Daily Shirt 133g/4.7oz
Very light and soft, dries fast, reasonable cut. A sink/fountain washable champ that works fine for athletics and walking around town, and is cozy enough to sleep in it that’s your jam.


Lululemon ABC Pants 444g/15.7oz
Versatile comfortable durable good-looking pants. Lighter than most other choices, and a passport-sized hidden pocket inside one back pocket. Front pockets straight drop, not slash, and deep. Tough to pick, won’t spill contents when you sit.


Volcom Hybrid Walking Shorts 274g/9.7oz
Very comfortable, generous cut without any unnecessary fabric, durable, stain resistant. They are designed to also work as swim trunks (hence “hybrid,” even have mesh as part of the inner pocket to let water pass). 5 pockets. One rear pocket zippers shut, and there is a deep, flat narrower pocket on the side perfect glasses, pocket knife, or small things you want deep in a pocket.

Rei Junction Bike Shorts 202g/7.1oz
Thick fabric and pad, “modesty” (aka American) cut. Stretchy side pocket are great for a phone while riding, and squirrel-cheeking loads of other stuff when transitioning to and from the bike.


Saucony Xodus Ultra Trail running shoes, with Sole High Volume Synthetic insoles 728g/25.6oz
The Xodus are significantly lighter than my Hoka Stinson home daily drivers and have a cooler upper. The Xodus is a less bulky looking shoe too, but still a generous toe box.


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Birkenstock Arizona EVA Sandals. 263g/9.3oz in size 44
Aka synthetic, aka some sort of strong light plastic. These pair with my trail running shoes to cover a wide span of use. These are my flip flops, but also walk well for long distances, and in Northern Europe can pair with socks (watch me) and are as such acceptable in many situations. Very tough and durable, I can lash them to my bike’s downtube and not work in the least about getting them damaged or dirty (bonus they work as a mudguard if correctly positioned). Spray them off and good as new. Hard to duplicate EVA Birk’s versatility without two separate shoes/sandals.

2 pairs Balega Hidden Comfort socks 54g/1.9oz per pair
Super cushy, medium fast dry for being so well padded. These socks are the best for my screwy feet. They dry well with body heat in a shoe with a meshy upper.

Gray socks 48g/1.7oz
Cotton blend, for when I want taller socks. Profoundly regular socks.


Gore Wear Gore-Tex Active C3 Cycling Jacket 309g/11oz
The C3 Gore jacket is the generous cut compared to others in the same line up, but since it’s cycling specific, it is still trim fit. Not much to say except completely waterproof, extremely breathable and, like the Montbell Down jacket, not shiny or techy looking – also works well as a city wind breaker. A bit heavy compared to some other cycling specific Goretex shells, but those others all look VERY tech.

Montbell Superior Down Jacket (and stuff sack) 230g/8.1oz
This is my safety warmth. It would make an unexpected night outside doable combined with the rest of my clothes, and isn’t too warm that it can’t be worn over a t-shirt on a mild evening unzipped. 800 fill down and ultralight shell material, but doesn’t look too techy or plasticky.


Amazon Webbing Belt w/ Plastic Buckle 103g/3.6oz
Very light, dries fast, does the job and unless you look really closely just looks like an okay normal belt. I do bring an extra buckle (less than an ounce) ever since I stepped on one and it cracked. Still worth it – WAY lighter and more comfortable than metal buckle.

Pearl Izumi Sun Sleeves 50g/1.8oz
Turn any shirt into a long sleeve look and no need to sunscreen the arms.

Ex Officio Boxer Briefs 81g/2.9oz
I tried to upgrade these to lighter/more packable, but everything else had something wrong that disqualified it.

Trucker Hat 56g/2.0oz
Hot pink. Light, good shade, highly visible if I’m riding my bike without my helmet.

Bag for clothing is a Revelate Saltyroll Bikepacking bag. 208g/7.2oz
20 liters, can attach to touring bike in various locations.


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Total weight all clothing, w/ triblend V-neck T: 3,333g/7.35lbs

Total weight all clothing w/ cotton blend V-neck T: 3,350g/7.39lbs

Weight on bike while wearing normal summer riding apparel (wearing bike shorts, Club Ride shirt, Balega socks, Saucony shoes, sun sleeves), includes Revelate bag: 2332g/5.14lbs

Five pounds of clothing carried on the bike feels excessive to me, but not radically so, and I want to be presentable in regular travel situations, not always in cycling gear. I’d like base weight of all stuff on the bike (add tools, spare parts, straps, toiletries, empty water bottles, other bags, lock etc) to be 10lbs or under, which is doable I think, or close. Food and water are then added to that.

Bag weight off the bike, for instance during air travel and long-range train transits (wearing long pants, V-neck T, belt, undies, tall socks, Saucony shoes, hat), including bag: 1952g/4.03lbs

On the plane etc. 4lbs of clothes feel like they are barely there, happy with this.

SO that's my list for 5 weeks this summer, hopefully maybe helpful to some, comments and questions welcome :)

Posted by
5113 posts

Hank, very nice packing list - thanks! That's a great idea to post one for men - this actually gives me ideas for gifts for men in my life who travel.

Posted by
277 posts

Hank, this is so interesting. The need to be a streamlined lightweight biker and also a tourist is something of a challenge? Are you really only going with 1 pair long pants, 1 pair shorts and 1 pair bike shorts for 5 weeks? That is all time light packer award territory!!
How does flying your bike work out? Do you worry about damage a lot or do the airlines take the proper care? During your 5 weeks will you take the train to different locales? How does your biking vs touring ratio workout? And how do you deal with bike security when you aren’t on it?
Sorry, lots of questions 😁. I did love the slacks, very sharp. Would love a ladies version, looked for one but not quite the same unfortunately.

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1511 posts

Thanks Mardee!

Lyndash hi, happy to answer questions.

Are you really only going with 1 pair long pants, 1 pair shorts and 1
pair bike shorts for 5 weeks?

Yes. If I'm not traveling with a bike I'll usually also bring a swimsuit that doubles well as casual shorts. But I could get by with just one short and one pants. A few details: 1) dark gray or black so as to not show stains much. 2) I do sink wash almost every day. I'd rather wash some of my clothes each day than carry more clothes. 3) When cycle touring I wear my bike shorts all day, so the walking shorts and pants get limited daytime use. 4) and if something goes wrong, excuse for shopping! I'll just buy a new pair of pants or shorts.

How does flying your bike work out? Do you worry about damage a lot or
do the airlines take the proper care?

I cardboard box my bike on the way over to Europe, and pad it well, detach derailleur etc. It's a fairly tough bike but I'm careful to box it well. On the way home I bag it in a cheap Amazon bike travel/cover bag that I order to my last hotel. Boxing a bike in a foreign country is a PITA, and if the bike is damaged on the way home it's easy to deal with. But if damaged on the way over a major interruption.

Also, many times I'll rent a bike in Europe, really quite easy that way.

During your 5 weeks will you take the train to different locales?

Yes. I use trains intermittently to keep my riding focused on highlight areas. For instance I land in Frankfurt this time. I'll ride up the Rhine for a while that first day, then train to Offenburg. The next morning 15 miles to Strasbourg, TGV to Rennes, then 30 miles ride up a canal to the next hotel. After that I'll mostly ride up to Amsterdam to meet my family 8 days later. The TGV is reserved - very few bike spaces. The rest I mostly wing it. I do make sure to have reasonable knowledge of bicycle rules on each national train system I might use.

How does your biking vs touring ratio workout?

If I count bike touring "lay days" as non-biking days, from 80% bike / 20% regular touristing to 50/50 depending on the trip. Note that sometimes we've walked from hotel to hotel - when this happens there is less cycling on the trip.

Great questions! I'll take your last excellent question as a separate post :)

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1511 posts

and the security question:

And how do you deal with bike security when you aren’t on it?

This one I agonize about. One philosophy says lock it so it (virtually) CAN'T be stolen. But to do this you need at least 5lbs of lock just to get started. And someone could still easily steal your seat and seatpost, handlebars and all the controls, etc, etc. Then you are sunk.

Some cycle tourists bring no locks at all. Not having a lock makes security clear - the bike is your baby, and so you always keep it in sight. This works surprisingly well, but is of course limiting, particularly if you are travelling alone, or if you are staying in hotels and not camping.

I split the baby by bringing a 1 lbs folding lock (Abus Bordo Lite). It's as secure as it gets at a weight that doesn't feel like a massive penalty when you ride the bike. It takes an 18" bolt cutter to clip, or a lot of time and noise to wrench open with a lever. Once you graduate to a security level where larger tools are necessary, only the professional thieves are still a problem. And they continue to be a problem with a 3 or 4 lbs lock anyway, so a lighter lock that forces pro tools is about as good as much heavier locks that can still be cut with bolt cutters.

And then I mostly act like a "no lock" cycle tourist. I don't leave the bike outside except in busy, visible supermarket parking. And then only if they won't let me leave it inside the store. I bring the bike into my room unless otherwise directly told not to. I always ask hotels ahead of time about secure storage, and sometimes refuse what they offer is sketchy. They always do better.

I also tour on a cheaper, less assuming bike and black out logos on nicer parts. My home bikes make lookers on drool, but my travel bike doesn't draw eyes. Our teen kid and friend call it Barney, because it is purple, dorky and not too good looking :)

I secure my bike's important parts with super nifty German anti-theft devices called Hexlox. These are tiny little magnets that lock inside of hex bolts with a special key making it impossible to loosen them with an allen key. I use Hexlox on my wheels, seat, seatpost, fork (at the headset cap), stem, bar ends, etc. It's really tough for an opportunistic thief to snick my parts in a hotel/hostel bicycle room where my bike is locked overnight. Hexlox are a little spendy, but they make me a bit less paranoid :)

Lastly I have two Apple Airtags on my bike. One is secured up under the seat, a normal place where people put Airtags. The other is hidden in a bike bell with a secret Airtag compartment. The idea is a knowledgeable thief looks for an Airtag in the usual place under the seat, find it and throws it away. Satisfied that the Airtag is now removed, they likely never even consider that there's a second Airtag hidden in the bell.

Outside of that, I haven't thought much about bike security ;)~

In the end Barney could still go poof! I'll cross that bridge if it presents itself, rolling merrily with the punches hopefully as Rick Steves recommends.

Thanks again for the great questions!

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5113 posts

1Wow, very good information on bike security! I've always wondered about that. I'm bookmarking this post just in case I get a bee in my bonnet to bike someplace in Europe.

Posted by
1511 posts

I love the idea of two AirTags! Brilliant!

Fun fact, you can buy dummy AirTags on AliExpress, save 20 bucks on the AirTag under the seat by using a fake.

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9118 posts

Hank, I will admit that your clothes packing report didn't interest me too much (beyond marveling that that is all you take), but these parts where you responded to Lyndash's questions and described about how you travel and protect your bike were very interesting !!!

(I don't mean that first part to sound dismissive or nasty - obviously I write plenty of things that are boring (to some people, to all people, whatever), and we don't all have the same interests, so logically every single post is not going to be interesting to every single person, no matter how well written it is --i just love how for some reason the other parts were intrinsically interesting to me even though I do not bike!)

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Hank, I will admit that your clothes packing report didn't interest me
too much (beyond marveling that that is all you take),

Hi Kim!

Yesterday I walked to a the Ballard Seafood Fest with an old friend who is part of our backpacking group (wilderness backpacking). Told him I weighed all of my Europe travel clothing plus bag and came out to 7.35lbs. His reaction - uff, so heavy! Even when I told him shoes included he was like dude you need to slim it down.

So I guess a lot or a little stuff is in the eye of the beholder. :)~